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Oklahoma to receive $2.64 million as its share of Wells Fargo settlement

FILE- In this May 17, 2018 file photo, the logo for Wells Fargo appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wells Fargo is paying $575 million as part of deal to resolve investigations by every state into its banking practices, which have included creating phony accounts and using manipulative sales practices. The deal also includes creating teams to review and respond to customer issues about its banking and sales practices.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
FILE- In this May 17, 2018 file photo, the logo for Wells Fargo appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wells Fargo is paying $575 million as part of deal to resolve investigations by every state into its banking practices, which have included creating phony accounts and using manipulative sales practices. The deal also includes creating teams to review and respond to customer issues about its banking and sales practices. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Oklahoma will receive $2.64 million as its share of a multi-state settlement with Wells Fargo over the corporation's improper investment banking practices that violated state consumer protection laws, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced Friday.

Wells Fargo will pay $575 million to 50 states and the District of Columbia as part of the settlement, the attorney general's office said in a news release.

The bank also will create a consumer redress review program, where customers can seek a review and possible relief if they have not been made whole through other restitution programs. Wells Fargo is required to make more information available about the review program by Feb. 26, including phone numbers and a website that will contain details.

The money Oklahoma will receive will be used for costs and attorneys' fees associated with the investigation, Hunter said. It also will be used for future litigation and investigations, consumer education and enforcement of state consumer protection laws.

“Although the company has already made restitution to most victims, my fellow attorneys general and I wanted to further hold the company accountable to ensure this never happens again,” Hunter said. “The provisions we have agreed upon will provide better protections to customers and all stakeholders doing business with the bank. I encourage Oklahoma victims who have not yet been made whole to file their complaints as soon as the dedicated website is made available.”

The settlement deals with improper business practices that date as far back as 2009, the attorney general's office said.

The attorneys general accused Wells Fargo of:

• Opening millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent.

• Improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies.

• Improperly charging auto loan customers for insurance.

• Failing to ensure customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products and incorrectly charging customers for mortgage fees.

The states also accused Wells Fargo of imposing aggressive and unrealistic sales goals on bank employees and implementing an incentive compensation program where employees could qualify for credit by selling certain products to customers.

The alleged practices created motivation for employees to engage in improper sales practices in order to satisfy sales goals and earn financial rewards, the attorneys general said.

Wells Fargo states on its website that it has taken a number of steps to correct past wrongs.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to build a better bank following our improper sales practice announcement in September 2016, we are looking across our entire company to identify and fix problems, be transparent and open about what we find, and make things right," the company stated.

Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two... Read more ›

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